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The Year of Mud Natural Building Workshops
Want to Learn How to Build Your Own Natural Home?

“What a great and, dare I say, life changing experience. I miss you guys and hope to make another workshop next spring or summer.”
– Bill E., Natural Building Essentials 2016

Our mission is to create rich, meaningful, and empowering learning experiences for our Natural Building Workshop participants. 2017 is shaping up to be yet another exciting season of building and learning. All of our courses will be held at South Slope Farm, our homestead located in the Appalachian foothills 15 minutes outside Berea, Kentucky. All workshops are all-inclusive, with lodging and food included in the tuition. This is our 6th year hosting classes!

2017 Workshop Schedule

The Year of Mud Natural Building WorkshopsTimber Frame Workshop (August 12-19, 2017)
— One of our most popular courses: a 7 day exploration of traditional timber framing techniques with hand tools

Natural Building Essentials Workshop (September 24-28, 2017)
— An excellent course for beginner natural builders – learn about the versatility of clay and straw in our 5 day hands-on class

Other Events

Natural Building 101 (June 10, 1:30-3:30)
— Join me for a free presentation & slideshow at the Jessamine County Public Library in Nicholasville, Kentucky. I’ll be talking about my personal experiences with natural building, including the story of building my first cob and straw bale homes. This is a great chance to learn and ask any burning questions you have about building with natural materials. More information can be found here.

Natural Building Workshop Testimonials

“This was one of the best experiences of my life.”
– Jeff P.,  Straw Bale Workshop 2012

“It was a great workshop.  I am sure it took a lot of prep time and coordination to make that all happen. (I think I could write a comedy script about all our dietary restrictions.) April created such wonderful meals for us all.  Thanks for opening up your home and I really enjoyed getting to meet Hazel and Pug.  It was way out of my comfort zone and that is why I did it. I have never camped for that long a time even though I was a girl scout leader for 6 years. I loved it and the experience made me realize that I really need to get in better shape to do the things I want to do in the future. You have a lovely home and we got to see other great homes and farms.  Thanks for making all that possible.”
– Mary R., Natural Building Essentials 2016 

natural building essentials workshop“We have talked nonstop about the workshop. It was GREAT! We learned a lot and are really inspired. I think that anytime I want to learn something I will start with a workshop… I am recommending your workshop to everyone.”
– Callie C., Cob Oven Workshop 2013

“In reality, you present so much more than building techniques, although those are important. The weekend afforded me the chance to connect with folks who think alike… getting back in concrete touch with my philosophical roots dating back to times before you all were born. I was truly heartened to be around such a dynamic and motivated and capable group of young folks. It’s easy to get pessimistic when looking at this mess of a world before us.  You all breathe hope! Keep up the great work, and many thanks for a great experience.”
– Angelo S., Cob Building Workshop 2014

“Loved learning things I never knew before, working with other folks, accomplishing things together that we could not do alone, [and] seeing something big come together before our eyes. Ziggy and April were wonderful organizers and hosts. Lots of thought and preparation!”
– Margaret W., Timber Framing Workshop 2013

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